LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga - A wounded war veteran got quite a birthday present on Wednesday as he and his family prepare for a new life.
Army Sgt. Ben Graham earned two Purple Hearts during tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.
His new home will stand as a tribute to his service.
"This house is freedom to us," said Lori Graham, Ben Graham's wife. "It's freedom from stress, a lighter weight on our shoulders. This is the way God wants it to be."
On his 34th birthday, Sgt. Graham took his family on a tour of the four bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home he now calls his own. Chase Bank and the Homes 4 Wounded Heroes Foundation gave the keys to Graham and his wife after remodeling it with new appliances and fresh paint.
Graham suffered a brain injury during his second tour in Iraq. An improvised explosive device ended his military career.
That came after he survived a sniper's bullet.
"It reflected off of my weapon, hit my glasses, and went into my nose," said Graham. "They ended up pulling the bullet out of the roof of my mouth."
He survived that and thirty close calls with IEDs until the one that sent him home.
"I knew he was doing what he loved," said Benita Graham. "I knew he loved our country."
Graham is in long-term therapy with the Shepherd Center's SHARE initiative. For the time being, he's unable to work.
"This is comfort," said his wife of their new home. "This is a breath of fresh air. It's a pat on the back, a thank you from his country."
In July, Lori Graham will deliver the couple's first child.
"I'm still around for my family, and my God," said Graham.